Happy Independence Day!

07-03-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing everyone a very happy Independence Day. While most people call it the Fourth of July, I prefer Independence Day because it reminds us of the holiday’s connection to the founding of our nation. Recalling and celebrating our nation’s beginning rightly leads us to give thanks for the many things we have accomplished as a nation over the years.


Welcoming A New Pastor

06-26-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

As most of you know, I went on my annual priest retreat the week of June 13 – 18. I had a wonderful time at my alma mater – Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg. Maryland. While there I had lots of time to pray, and remembered all of you and the special intentions so many of you gave me. As usual, I visited and prayed at the tomb of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, to whom I have a special devotion.


Corpus Christi and Father's Day

06-19-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This weekend is Corpus Christi – the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a day to celebrate and reaffirm our Faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, under the appearance of bread and wine. As many of you know, it is also one of my favorite holy days of the year.


There's No Vacation From God

06-12-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last week, I had a nice evening with Fr. Gilbert and the deacons of our parish. We had dinner together to celebrate Deacon John Flynn’s 45th anniversary as a deacon. Many of you know or are even related to Deacon John. He is a fine Christian gentleman.

Even before his ordination, Deacon John was active in this parish. He was the first lay lector to read at Mass here, and the first Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. It should surprise no one that, when the permanent diaconate was restored by the Second Vatican Council (with great encouragement from Pope St. Paul VI), Deacon John was in the first class to be ordained for what was then the Diocese of Trenton.


Pentecost and The New Evangelization

06-05-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Today is Pentecost Sunday – the day on which Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help His disciples spread the Gospel to many peoples and places. In Baptism, and especially Confirmation, Jesus sent that same Holy Spirit to help us spread the Gospel in the world today. Many of you do this by teaching your children about the Faith and sending them to Catholic School or CCD classes. Many also do it by supporting the missions. Still others do it on a personal, one to one basis, sharing their faith with others in conversations and other ways.


Memorial Day

05-29-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to start by wishing everyone, especially the veterans of our parish, a very Happy Memorial Day! We owe the freedom we enjoy, and often take for granted, to those who sacrificed so much to defend it over the years. On Memorial Day, take a moment to say a prayer for those who died defending our country, and to thank the veterans you know.


New Deacons and A New Day for the Ascension

05-22-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last weekend was a blessed one for our parish. Seeing so many of our parishioners at the Cathedral for the ordination of Deacon Paul Flor and Deacon Francisco Jaurides really filled my heart. So did the ordination itself, in which a number of deacons were also ordained.

Remember that these new deacons will both assist Fr. Gilbert at the 1pm Mass today (Sunday). Following that Mass, everyone is invited to Mercy Hall for coffee, cake, and refreshments. It will be a great time to congratulate Deacon Paul and Deacon Francisco, and to celebrate their ordination.


Mary: Model for Deacon

05-15-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin my remarks this week with thanks to God for the ordination of Paul Flor and Francisco Jaurides to the diaconate. These men are known to many of you, as they have been members of our parish for many years. Their ordination is the culmination of several years of study, spiritual growth, and pastoral education.


Mothers and Vocations

05-08-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, grandmothers, and spiritual mothers in our parish! Thank you for all the love, sacrifices, and other good works that too often go unnoticed.


A Busy and Blessed May

05-01-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to thank all of you who asked about my little vacation last week. It was a wonderful break but, as always it’s good to be home with you again.

May is always a busy month in our parish. In addition to being the Month of Mary, it is filled with things like First Holy Communion, which will be celebrated in our parish this and next weekend. Please pray for the children as they receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.


The Joy of Easter

04-24-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It was so nice to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with all of you here at St. Philip and St. James. The presence of so many people at all of the Masses was inspiring and uplifting. Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating this holy time of year.


The Joy of Easter

04-18-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I want to begin by wishing each and every one of you a blessed and happy Easter. The Resurrection of Jesus stands at the very heart of everything we believe as Catholics. It is my favorite day of the year, and I am always happy to celebrate it with you.


Palm Sunday

04-10-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

For some reason, I’ve always loved Palm Sunday. It was easy for me, even as a little kid, to see that Mass was a bit different that day. The blessing of palm, the longer Gospel, and the crowds of people at Mass all told me that there was something special about Palm Sunday. Indeed, there is something very special about Palm Sunday.


A Good Finish To Lent

04-03-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

It’s hard to believe, but next Sunday is already Palm Sunday. Palms will be blessed and distributed at all of the Masses. Please take some Blessed Palm, and treat it with respect since it is a Sacramental we use to praise God, be reminded of His presence, and disposed to cooperate with His grace.